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ABA Accuse Government of Phasing Out Beef

19 March 2009

AUSTRALIA - Australian Beef Association Chairman, Brad Bellinger has accused the federal government of phasing out Australia's beef industry whilst Brazil and the US are strongly building theirs.

He has drawn comparisons to the Brazilian Government which he says is moving to assist its Beef Processing Industry with a $Aus 800 million loan facility through its State owned bank.

Meanwhile, the US Government is bargaining for a doubling of the US beef EU quotas to give it four times the access that Australian beef producers have, despite the fact that the USA has no National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) or National Vendor Declarations (NVDs).

Mr Bellinger continued: "contrast this with the Australian Government doubling of AQIS inspection fees to increase to full cost recovery and forcing producers to pay the highest levies at $5 per head of cattle sold to the Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), as well as paying for the most costly ID systems in the World and the Government is talking about charging farmers for bovine methane emissions, as well as the proposed Carbon Emission Trading Scheme directed at the processing Industry, which will be passed back to the cattle producers. As well we have the Queensland Labor Party, using vegetation regulation in banning re-growth clearing which will effectively remove the beef industry."

An ABA statement said that Australian producers receive the second lowest prices in the developed world and sees Australian consumers pay some of the highest prices for beef in the World. Australian cattle producers are now receiving 27 per cent of the consumer dollar, whilst the UK producers are on 50 per cent and US producers on 47 per cent.

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